Ys Net’s Shenmue 3 released last year, finally delivering on the expectations of fans for a true sequel. Though the story doesn’t conclude the saga, creator Yu Suzuki has been fairly transparent about making more sequels. It seems planning for that could be happening sooner than we thought.
Lakshya Digital, which collaborated with Ys Net to work on character models for Shenmue 3, made a Facebook post back in December 2019 about how it was an “honour” to work on the title. “It is thanks to the confidence placed in us by Yu Suzuki san, CEO, YS Net Inc, and the entire team, that we could be true partners and provide effective solutions to deliver high quality content at the best value.”
However, at the end, the company said, “We look forward to working on Shenmue IV very soon!” While one could look at this as accidental confirmation that work has already started on a sequel, it could also be viewed as the company hoping that it works on the same. Again, it’s not like Suzuki has been shy about wanting to make Shenmue 4.
Even if Shenmue 4 is early in development, that’s not indicative of when it could release. After all, Shenmue 3 was famously announced at E3 2015 with its crowdfunding campaign launching at the same time. It suffered numerous delays en route to release, not to mention controversy for being a timed exclusive on the Epic Games Store. We’ll see if the next game faces these same hurdles, especially with the next generation of consoles out in the holiday season.